30 Jan 2003 steve   » (Master)

Medical Mysteries

"You have the sort of sinuses an ENT dreams about" - not what you want to hear from your doctor after a CT scan. About four months ago I had a cold. A month later I still had it and began to suspect it wasn't a cold. My ENT thought it might be an allergy. This was a depressing thought as I've never had allergies before and didn't look forward to being unable to breathe through my nose for the rest of my life. He put me on Zyrtec and Allegra. Another month later and things were worse, not better. The doc ordered a CT Scan. That part was actually pretty cool; lying face-down on a platform that moved linearly in and out of a rotating ring within a huge, pivoting mass while red targeting lasers lit up my head.

The result of the CT scan was a series of about 35 cross sectional views of my head. It was a coronal view, so it only covered the front third so of the head. But it was enough to show that all my sinuses, which should contain nothing but air, were solid masses. At least one was begining to calcify. So the fix is to perform, lets see, a total ethmoidectomy, a bilateral frontal resection, a bilateral anterior resection, and a bilateral sphenoidotomy. Three hours or more of nasal roto-rootering.

The immediate next step is trying to get the insurance company to approve the procedures...

When I get time, I plan to scan the CT images and maybe try to assemble them into a nice 3D view of my head.

ODP News

RDF export is still broken. Overall performance is still degrading rapidly - a lot of folks haven't been able to access the public site at all lately. Since the ODP software isn't designed to scale beyond one physical server and there's nothing faster than the 16 CPU Sun 4500 handy, they decided to give priority to the editors by throttling back public access. So we can edit to our hearts content but you can't see the site or use the RDF exports. The one developer who maintains the entire dmoz/ODP system and codebase is doing all she can but AOL won't allow outside help because it's proprietary code. So we're keeping our fingers crossed that she'll get things fixed but I have to admit that I'm not too optimistic at present. Not a happy situation.

There's been a lot of talk about starting a new directory project to fill in the ODP gap with something new that's not controlled by AOL and that's not just Open Content but Open Source/Free Software as well. I've gotten email from several interested editors who want to work on the project and have been talking with two other programmers who've been working on a clone of the ODP software for a while. If anyone else is interested, or has some ideas feel free to contact me.

The Dangers of Blogging

Someone I know just lost her job for saying the wrong thing about the wrong person in her weblog - yikes!

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